USDA Seeks EVA Comments

The U.S. Department of Agriculture needs your help to develop an equine viral arteritis (EVA) regulatory program for U.S. horses.

The equine industry regards the disease as a potentially significant and increasing economic threat. Currently, the USDA's Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) doesn't have an EVA control program because outbreaks are sporadic. The equine industry has requested that APHIS initiate surveillance, control, and possibly eradication of EVA.

EVA is an acute, contagious, viral disease characterized by edema, conjunctivitis, nasal discharge, and abortion. Infection is spread through aerosol transmission, and also venereally by infected stallions or infected semen. Horses which have EVA antibodies, which can be present due to vaccination against the disease or infection with EVA virus, can be barred from entering foreign countries. Semen collected from infected stallions also can be banned. The disease can cause abortion in pregnant mares, with rates as high as 70%.

This notice appeared in the Sept. 20 Federal Register, and can be viewed at

Consideration will be given to comments received on or before Nov. 20. Send an original and three copies to Docket No. 99-074-1, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS, Suite 3C03, 4700 River Road, Unit 118, Riverdale, Md. 20737-1238.

Comments may be reviewed at USDA, Room 1141, South Building, 14th Street and Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C., 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays. To review comments, call ahead at 202/690-2817.

About the Author

Stephanie L. Church, Editor-in-Chief

Stephanie L. Church, Editor-in-Chief, received a B.A. in Journalism and Equestrian Studies from Averett College in Danville, Virginia. A Pony Club and 4-H graduate, her background is in eventing, and she is schooling her recently retired Thoroughbred racehorse, Happy, toward a career in that discipline. She also enjoys traveling, photography, cycling, and cooking in her free time.

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